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# 4094 - Colt Officer's Model
8/29/01
Randy, Portland, OR

Colt - Officer's Model - .22 LR - 5 Inches - Blue - 23084 -

What is the date of manufacture of this gun? Is there any way to get a copy of the original instructions or manual that came with it? The Colt folks in Hartford told me that don't have that information for this model. Thanks.

Answer:
Randy, records indicate that your revolver was manufactured in 1941 and is a third issue Officer's Model. Colt manufactured third issue Officer's Model revolvers from 1927 to 1949 with chambering in .22 caliber becoming available starting in 1930. Colt Officer's Model revolvers are known for their accuracy and the quality of materials and workmanship that went into producing them. Third issue Officer's Model revolvers were available in .32 Colt .38 Special and .22 LR chambering, it is my opinion that the .22 LR versions are the most desirable to both collectors and shooters. Blue book values for .22 caliber Officer's Model revolvers range from $350 to about $800 depending on condition. I do not know of a good source for an owners manual for your revolver, suggest you try posting a request on the free OldGuns.net wanted page. Marc


# 4266 -
8/29/01
Mike

Winchester - M1 Carbine - 5551879 -

I have Winchester carbine serial number 5551879 with flip sight and pushbutton type safety. I keep hearing different opinions on this rifle. Hope you can set the matter straight. Would this rifle have been made from scratch with early parts or the later parts? Thanks, Mike

Answer:
Mike- Being a history major, I never really had to know anything, but learned how to find out about stuff. Larry Ruth's definitive "War Baby" on pp 325-327 indicates that Winchester's switch to the adjustable sight took place in the 6 million range, and that "the leaf sight was used intermittently during the changeover to the windage-adjustable sights in the fall of 1944."

On page 331 he states that the push type safety with EW on one end was used "on a few carbines in the 1340000 to 6600000 serial number range" and that the rotary type marked EW on the lever was used "at tail end of production." Extrapolating from serial number ranges assigned and monthly production figures, yours was probably made sometime in July/AugustSeptember 1944.

I know there are carbine reference books done by North Cape Publications and Jesse Harrison. I consider Harrison's books to be so seriously flawed as to be worthless. I have not studied the North Cape book in detail, but think that while it might be a handy general guide, it is far less authoritative than Larry Ruth's books. Larry is the acknowledged authority on the Carbine, and his books are based on solid research in primary sources and careful review of the thousands of data sheets submitted by members of the Carbine Club over the last 20+ years. Remember, collector terms "early and late" are very relative, and nearly all M1 carbines left the factory in "early" configuration and were transformed to "late" configuration during subsequent field or depot level modification programs, so their present appearance usually has little relationship to the early or late date of manufacture and original appearance. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 4267 - Crescent Shotguns
8/29/01
Joe

Crescent -

I was wondering if you have any information on Crescent firearms. I came in contact with a 12 gauge single shot. I would like to know when they were made and how much it is worth. Thank you so much.

Answer:
Joe- Crescent Fire Arms Co. Was established in 1888 and continued until its assets were purchased by Stevens in 1931. Crescent deserves the credit (or blame) for the manufacture of the vast majority of old hammer type shotguns encountered today. These are usually modest, mediocre, or miserable quality arms, but they were cheap when new. These met the needs and pocketbooks of the rural population in the days when most Americans lived on farms or in rural areas and shotguns provided an opportunity to help feed the family, engage in sport, or defend one's life or property, or perhaps all of the above. Most of these guns were sold under various "house" or brand names, and approximately one hundred different names have been encountered on guns believed to have been made by Crescent. The is very little collector interest in any of these, although it would be a challenging goal to assemble an example of each of the brand names, and even more daunting to find examples in good condition. As far as value, the doubles probably fall into the $50-150 range depending on quality and condition, while single barrel examples would probably struggle to find a buyer at $50. Anyone interested in this topic should consult Charles Carder's magnificent "Side by Sides of the World" John Spangler


# 4239 - Page Lewis 22
8/25/01
Bill, Waterloo, NY

Page-Lewis - Model D - .22LR - 20 Inches ( Approx. ) - Blue - 1661 -

Rifle has an aftermarket or make shift tang peep sight. I have never come in contact with a piece of this name any info would be helpful thanks.

Answer:
Bill, Page-Lewis Arms Company started business in 1921 employing about 150 workers. The Page-Lewis factory was located in the old Stevens Duryea automobile plant. Company officers were the president, Irving H. Page; the vice-president, general manager and designer George S. Lewis of East Springfield; and the treasurer Charles H. Leonard of Chicopee Falls; all were experienced gunmakers. The first shipment of Page-Lewis rifles left the factory in July, 1921 but sales were not good and the first year the company just about broke even. In 1923 To increase sales Page-Lewis introduced a small bolt action .22 single-shot rifle design. The new design was quite popular and helped to increase sales. On August 6 of the following year Irving Page died suddenly of a heart attack. Without Page's leadership the company went quickly downhill. Page Lewis was purchased by J. Stevens Arms Company in 1926. Marc


# 4184 - Artillery Shell Casing Trench Art
8/25/01
James, Denver, CO, USA

12" artillery shell casing, APXCC78L17 SD 75DEC, Hammered into ordinate flower vase. I have tried to identify this shell casing. cannot find any books that can tell me anything about this Shell! (history, mm, use, etc)Can you help?

Answer:
James- The most commonly encountered "trench art" is from France in the years immediately following WW1. Of course, their farmland had literally been turned upside down, splattered with blood, guts and carcasses of tens of thousands of men and horses, and seeded with poison gas, unexploded ordnance, and other not very nice stuff. Making lemonade from the lemons they had been left, they turned to the trench art business to satisfy the demand from veterans and families for souvenirs. Of course, soldiers in the trenches may also have done some "trench art" but most of it seen on the market is probably from the post war period. Everything from rifle size cases turned into letter openers up to large artillery shells turned into flower vases can be found. 37mm and 75mm cases seem to be especially popular, and are of a reasonable size and thin enough to be easily worked into the complex designs. The headstamps can be sued to identify the original case type. The DEC 75 marking is for the famous "French 75" (75mm or 3 inch) field guns which fired millions of rounds during the war. My guess is that the 8L17 probably indicates August 1917 date of manufacture. There are a number of people who collect trench art, but being lazy and unable to convince my wife that she would enjoy polishing such a collection, I have never had much interest in them. There was an interesting display of trench art at a Colorado Gun Collectors Association show a year or two ago. (You are close enough, you really need to attend that show held every year in May. Best display show in the entire country.) John Spangler


# 4109 - French Mle 1874 Gras Rifle
8/25/01
Amir , Amman , Jordan

St Etienne - M LE 1874 - 7.62 - ALL metal barrel 69 . Cylinder part 51cm - Black - 929332 -

Below M LE 1874 you find M80. Below # 929332 you find the # 2 Got this rifle from antique shop . the metal barrel only missing all wood. Has many individual letters or numbers. Need to know more about it , and how it looks like to made the missing wooden parts (Photo very helpful) , value.

Answer:
Amir- The French Model 1874 Gras rifle was made for 11x59mm Rimmed black powder cartridges. The M80 probably refers to the date of a later modification, or perhaps the date of manufacture. If the bore is now about 7.62mm, it may have been converted to a smaller caliber at a later date. Personally, I would not consider this action strong enough for modern smokeless powder ammunition and would not shoot it. We have had one or two of these rifles for sale, and the values seem to run in the $200-400 range depending on condition. The stock is fairly simple and fittings are shared with the Mle 1866 Chassepot. Many of these were used in France's North African colonies, and later given to their colonial troops. There are several sites on our links page specializing in old military rifles of the blackpowder era that may have some good photos. By the way, Jordan's late King Hussein was a serious gun collector in addition to being a respected leader. John Spangler


# 4165 -
8/22/01
Mark, Perth, W. A. , Australia

Isaac Hollis & Sons, Birmingham - Double Rifle - .400/450 - 28" - Blue -

For H. R. H. The Duke of Connaught My father owned this double hammer rifle while in India during the 50's and 60's, was it made for the son of Queen Victoria for an Indian safari he went on? Were Hollis and Sons noted gunsmiths and do you have any info on them?

Answer:
Mark- Isaac Hollis & Sons operated in Birmingham England circa 1861 to 1900 with sales offices in various fashionable London addresses. An 1868 advertisement reads: "ISAAC HOLLIS & SONS (late Hollis & Sheath) Manufacturers of Every Description of Breech or Muzzle Loading Sporting & Military Guns, Rifles, Pistols, Revolvers &c., A Large Finished Stock always on hand of Breech-Loading Double Guns and Double Rifles for Central Fire or Pin Cartridges; Muzzle-Loading Single and Double guns, at all prices from the lowest; Military Rifles of all kinds, Long and Short Enfield, Cavalry and Artillery; Pistols &C.; Breech-Loading Military and Sporting Rifles on 'Snider's,' 'Chassepot's,' "Major Fosbery's.' 'Green's,' and other Patented Systems; Gun Cases and Implements, Portable Leather Cases, Holsters &c. Manufactory 5 to 11 Weaman Row, Birmingham. Established 1814." This is exactly the sort of firm that would be happy to make or sell a fine gun for a member of the royal family to slay wildlife in India. Must have been a nice gun. John Spangler


# 4167 -
8/22/01
Keith, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Hopkins & Allen Firearms Co. - "Forehand DA" - 38 - 2"-2 1/2" inches - silver - has a 47 on bottom of grip -

My grandfather passed away and my dad gave me a gun my grandpa owned. I'd never sell it but I was just curious of its monetary value (its sentimental value is high). My grandpa and my 4 uncles used to run moonshine in Minnesota back in the day (they had wanted posters etc. . . the whole bit) my family has photos of them all with there pistols at there side. Its pretty amusing, anyway I 'm curious to its value. Thanks, Keith

Answer:
Keith- While I cannot find specific information on your revolver, here is some information that may help. Forehand & Wadsworth made inexpensive revolvers from 1872 to 1890 when Wadsworth died. Operations continued as Forehand Arms Company until 1902 when the firm wwas sold to Hopkins & Allen. I suspect that production of the Forehand models continued for a short time but with the addition of the Hopkins & Allen name, so I would date this as being made circa 1902-1910. Evidently the moonshine trade did not pay well, or those engaged in it spent their profits on thinks other than fine firearms. Forehand or Hopkins & Allen arms were generally on the low end of the quality and price range, in the category variously described over the years as suicide specials or Saturday night specials. There is relatively little collector interest in these, and values tend to be modest. Again, not knowing the details of your specific model, my guess is that your would probably only bring about $35-100 depending on condition. However a DOCUMENTED history would add some value and interest to collectors. As a family piece the value would be much more. You need to pay attention to stupid Kalifornia gun laws to make sure you comply with any idiotic dictates concerning safe storage, licensing, registration, taxes, surrender of first born children, permanent serfdom, etc. Of course, the drug dealers, illegal aliens, and gang bangers do not bother to do so, only the law abiding citizens. Perhaps that is why so many of the latter are fleeing Mexico's northern colony for freedom in the US. John Spangler


# 4083 - Winchester 1873?
8/22/01
Kathy Dover, Pa

Winchester - 1873 - ? - ? - ? - 1092621 -

I don't know anything about guns, my question is what year was this model made? And anything else you can tell me . thank you, Kathy

Answer:
Kathy, Winchester manufactured the Model 1873 from 1873 to about 1924, total production reached about 720,610. OldGuns.net has provided a free program that will furnish the year of manufacture for Winchester firearms when a serial number is entered at the following url: http://oldguns.net/snpgm/winmods.htm. Unfortunately serial numbers for Model 1873 rifles ended at about 720,000, since the serial number that you sent me is higher than 720,000, information for your rifle will not be found in our database. I recommend you verify that both the model and serial number you sent is correct. For more information about the model 1873 Winchester, try a query to the OldGuns.net Q&A search engine, there is a link located near the top of the OldGuns.net left hand menu frame. Use the search term "Winchester 1873" as a phrase. Marc


# 4171 - Colt Dates of Manufacture
8/18/01
David, Wyncote, PA

Colt - ? - 45 - ? - 150328 -

Top of barrel is stamped: COLT'S PT. F. A. MFG CO. HARTFORD. CT. USA. Side of the barrel is stamped: .45 COLT Near trigger is stamped: PAT. SEPT 19, 1871 JULY2.72. JAN.19.75 When was the gun manufactured and how can I get more information about its provenance?

Answer:
David- There are several published lists showing serial numbers and dates of manufacture for Colts. One of the best is R.L. Wilson's magnificently done and comprehensive "Book of Colt Firearms." These show that your serial number was made in 1893. As far as historical background, you can request a Colt "Factory Letter" wither over the phone or by writing to them. A complete list of their fees is at http://www.colt.com/colt/html/i2b3_pricelist.html. It appears that Colt has broadened their business to include selling paper as a highly profitable product. For an old Single Action Army, the base price is $150 with a premium added on for engraved guns or those shipped to interesting people or places, but no charge for guns not in their records. Percussion revolver letters are $300 and up, with a $100 charge even if no info is found. Guess they can make as much money selling letters as they can by selling guns, and they will not get sued nearly as often. As far as tracking down any history between shipment and today, that is about impossible unless you have some really good clues to start with. At one time someone was working on a reference list of all Colts ever advertised for sale, but I don't know what happened to that project. John Spangler


# 4192 - Flint Pistol With Axe Or Tomahawk Handle
8/18/01
Brenda, Connellsville, PA

Flint Lock Pistol - Unsure - Unsure - 10 1/2 Inches - Black - NONE OR WORN OFF -

flint lock pistol with tomahawk on the other end, brass plate above the trigger. Gold swirls engraved on the wooden handle. My father has a flint lock pistol with a tomahawk on the other end. It is supposedly from the French & Indian war. It is very old-definitely not a reproduction. I was wondering if you had any other information regarding this gun. My father has taken to a couple of gun shops, they want to buy it from him, but he has no idea of the value. Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer:
Brenda- We would need to see a photo before being able to tell you much about this one. However, I do not recall anything about French & Indian War era arms having tomahawk blades in the handles. I have seen such things with origins in the middle east (Turkey?) and they look very old and have lots of ornate decoration. Unfortunately, most are pretty recent items (less than 50-100 years old) and made mainly for the tourist trade. I may be wrong, but am highly skeptical of this item. John Spangler


# 4226 - Win Mod 1892 Authenticity?
8/18/01
Don, Baltimore, Oh 43105

Winchester - 1892 - .30 - 654993 -

I'm trying to determine the value of this gun. I have been unable to determine the authenticity of the gun, where would I look to find this out?

Answer:
Don, The Oldguns.net Winchester dates of manufacture program (located at: http://oldguns.net/snpgm/winmods.htm) tells me that the year of manufacture for your Model 1892 Winchester serial number 654993 is 1912. Winchester manufactured over a million 1892 rifles and carbines between 1892 and 1941, values range from $400 to over $2000 depending on condition, configuration and variation.

I am not sure exactly what you mean when you say that you are trying to determine authenticity, several possibilities come to mind. Are you trying to determine if your rifle is an authentic Winchester, perhaps you want to know if the rifle has all of the original parts that it left the factory with? My guess is that you want to determine if the rifle is in original condition and has never been refinished but maybe you have something completely different in mind. The best place to find the information that you are looking for is at a gunshow. I recommend that you take your rifle to the next gunshow that is held in your area, and show it to dealers who are displaying the same type of merchandise. Make sure that you show the rifle to several dealers and get several opinions about authenticity and value. Marc


# 4079 - Hiawatha In Canada
8/14/01
Donna, North Battleford, Sk. , Canada

Hiawatha - S1-1P. . Or R - 22 - Blue -

I would like to sell this rifle before we need to register them. My husband thinks this rifle is worth more than the $60 we were offered. I know this rifle is over 30 years old. Any help on the value? Thanx

Answer:
Donna, Sorry that I can't identify your rifle to be a valuable antique. Hiawatha is a trade name used by Gamble Skogmo on firearms manufactured for them by Savage. Values for Hiawatha firearms fall in the $50 to $100 range. In light of this information, I think that the $60 offer that you received was quite fair, especially when one considers that your firearm is located in Canada where all types of firearms are being outlawed incrementally. My advise, sell while you still can. Marc


# 4061 - Smoker No. 2 Pistol
8/14/01
Robert, Washburn, MO

? - ? - .32 - 3 In. - Old - 5030 -

Stamped "Smoker No. 2" on barrel. Serial Number also on steel under the hand grips. This is just a guess on the Caliber. Grips are rounded at the butt end. Does anyone have any idea who the manufacture was and what year it was manufactured?

Answer:
Robert- In the early days of cartridge revolvers, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 were sometimes used to indicate calibers or appropriate ammunition. Basically .22 rimfire was number 1, .32 rimfire was number 2 and .38 rimfire was number 3. The "Smoker" series of "suicide specials" were made in all three calibers and sometimes included "No.2" or whatever as part of their markings. It is believed that they were made by Iver Johnson, but that has not been confirmed. John Spangler


# 4049 - Sterling Revolver
8/14/01
Eric, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Sterling? ? ? ? - 5rd. Single Action Revolver - .32cal - 2 3/4" - Nickel Plated Plastic Grips - #233 -

The mark Sterling is on the top strap mark. What details can you give me about this revolver. I'm afraid I have had little luck on this matter. Pictures, History, etc. Thank you in advance for any information you find. Thanks Eric.

Answer:
Eric- Frank Sellers' American Gunsmiths notes that Sterling "Suicide Specials" were made by Dickinson, but Donald Webster's book on that subject indicates the actual makers are unknown. They were made in both .22 rimfire and .32 rimfire. The .32 caliber guns had 2 3/4 inch round or octagonal barrels and the cylinders were either plain or fluted, and butts were either birdhead shaped most often with walnut, or square with white bone grips. Overall finish was nickel plating except for case hardened hammer and trigger. As a 32 rimfire, they probably dated toward the earlier end of the period 1870-1920. John Spangler


# 4188 -
8/11/01
Stacy

Colt - 45 - 11" - 2012 -

I have a Colt .45 (#2012) which has been in the family for 70 yrs. The only thing I have been able to discover about it is its date of manufacture (1874). It is all original, in working condition, with no alterations. One side of the grip has a small chip out of the wood at the bottom. It has an 11" barrel. The serial # is the same on 4 locations, and it has an Army acceptance stamp on the grip. Can anyone tell me more about this old gun that was traded to my great-uncle for a tank of gas during the depression?

Answer:
Stacy- Sounds like a very interesting gun. There is no documented history available on this from military records. The low serial number and early production date are appealing to collectors, as well as the numbers that match. However, the barrel length would have been 7 1/2 inches when made under the original army contract. Later many were arsenal overhauled with 5 1/2 inch barrels. A barrel length of 11 inches indicates that it has been changed at some point, most likely between 1945 and 1965 when long barrel "Buntline" revolvers became popular. This seriously reduces the collector value. There is a remote possibility that it could have been sold as surplus and later returned to the Colt factory for a non-standard barrel, which would probably restore most of the otherwise lost value. The only way to tell for sure would be to get a Colt "factory letter" which costs several hundred dollars now, and may only confirm that it is NOT a factory replacement. If the gun has been refinished (as many were) that also hurts the value and collector interest. An all original Colt Single Action Army with military inspector marks and 7 1/2" barrel will fetch something in the $4000 or higher range, but with your early number, an example in fine condition may bring something in the $20,000+ range. However, the arsenal overhauled examples with shorter barrels are more likely in the $2500 and up range. An example with a replaced barrel and probably refinished may not bring much more than that. Very minor details can make a BIG difference in what collectors are willing to pay. If you decide to sell, we would be happy to help and could do a better job of putting a value on it after examining it or at least some detailed photos. Hope this helps. Sounds like you could trade it for a tank of gas and a good used car now. John Spangler


# 4237 - M1903 RIA Springfield Oddball
8/11/01

Springfield - M1903 - 30-06 -

I have just purchased a 1903 Springfield manufactured by Rock Island Arsenal. It has a SN of 6742, which has been overstamped with a new SN of 0130. The bolt and receiver are of the early 1903 type as is the upper handgard. The barrel is RIA dated 1-17 with flaming bomb. On the opposite side of the barrel is a "C 92" above a "P". The stock is a 1917 type with two receiver bolts. The butt plate is smooth with no trapdoor. It has the original blue finish. No stock cartouches except a "D" behind the trigger guard, a single "6" in front of the bolt and behind the upper band (right side) and "RI" below the barrel, above the bayonet lug. The only thing that I can figure out is that it was rebuilt in France at the end of WWI and reserial numbered. The butt plate must have been fabricated locally as I can find no reference to one without a trap door. I understand that it is unsafe to shoot. Can you help me solve the riddle of this rifle?

Answer:
Jim- First, I have NEVER, EVER, heard of a U.S. military rifle having a new serial number stamped over an old one. A few had a letter added to fix the problem of serial number overlaps or duplicates, but not just renumbering during overhaul. Some pistols had "replacement numbers" applied when the originals were found missing or illegible, but those are well documented. The mixing of parts would be a reasonable result of an overhaul in France at the end of WW1, but the number problem is a strong sign that there may be other explanations. The use of a "no trap" buttplate suggests that this is a parts gun assembled from scrap/surplus low number receivers after they began to be withdrawn in the 1920s. The buttplate without a trap is most likely either (a) an unfinished forging for the M1903 rifle sold as scrap, or (b) a M1892 Krag buttplate left over after replacement with the M1896 type with the butt trap. If a forging, there probably will be signs of the boss for the spring screw and studs for the hinge pin, and it will be relatively thick. If M1892, it is probably very thin, and may show signs of hand filing on the toe where the extra 1/4" length of the Krag buttplate was removed to make it fit the 1903 stock. W. Stokes Kirk, an old Philadelphia surplus dealer, and Sedgeley, another Philadelphia gun and parts maker are known to have cobbled together a lot of M1903s from surplus, scrap, and improvised parts, as well as Francis Bannerman or New York. The C92 and P are standard markings on Rock Island barrels of the period, as is the RI on the stock tip, so it is likely that they are GI parts. The ersatz Springfields sometimes used barrels from unidentified sources and stocks that were locally made, usually identifiable by the crudeness of the inletting, and sometimes using salvaged handguards pieced together under the lower band. We may never know the accurate story of what happened to your rifle, but that is my best guess. John Spangler


# 4115 - Post 64 Winchester 22
8/11/01
Bill, Eden, North Carolina

Winchester - 190B - .22 - 20 1/2" - Blued - ? -

I friend of mine has had this particular rifle for just a few years and we have not been able to find any info about it. Is it still in production, approximately when was it made? It is 100% condition but he doesn't have the box it came in even though he does have the manual. Is there any value to this gun? Thanks in advance for the response.

Answer:
Bill, the Winchester model 190 was a semi-automatic rifle with a tubular magazine chambered in .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle calibers that had an alloy receiver and uncheckered hardwood stock. Winchester manufactured about 2,150,000 Model 190 and 290 rifles from 1967 to 1980. Blue book values for these rifles ranges from $50 to about $125 depending on condition. It has been my experience that there is little collector interest in this particular model and that shooters often prefer the Ruger 10/22 because of it's greater reliability and detachable magazine. Marc


# 4194 -
8/8/01
Casey, Alexandria, Louisiana

Rohm - RG10 - .22 Short - Approx. 2.3" - Unknown - 1238571 -

Rohm GM2(? )H Sonthe1(? )M/Brenz How old is this gun, where did it come from, and is it worth anything?

Answer:
Rohm GmbH, of Sontheiml Brenz, W. Germany. manufactured cheap (Saturday night special) type revolvers for sale in the U.S. in the late 1950's and early 1960' s prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968. Values for these firearms are in the $50 range. Marc


# 4198 - Mutzig Musket
8/8/01
Charlie

I have an 1840 "de Mutzig" percussion rifle and would like more information please. I have attached two photos. Thanks,

Answer:
Charlie- Mutzig was one of several French arsenals, and their guns (and other arms are marked "Mfr. Impl. de [location of arsenal]" short for "Manufacture Imperial" although while they had kings eating cake [pre-guillotine, of course] it was "Mfr. Rle" for Manufacture Royal.

Your musket is a standard French infantry musket variously described as Model 1840 or 1842, or with minor internal lock modifications the model 1847. In the mid to late 1850s many of these were rifled, and had rear sights installed, and some were made from scratch in this pattern as well. The date of manufacture should be on the tang of the barrel, and the French stamped all sorts of other dates relating to modifications, etc on various parts. These were .70 or .71 caliber (about the same as a 12 gauge shotgun) and fired a "Minie ball" weighing a bit over an ounce. Many of these were purchased for use by Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. They were considered to be "second class" arms, not nearly as good as the Springfield or Enfield .58 caliber muskets, but about on a par with the U.S. .69 caliber muskets which had been rifled.

These were originally finished bright, and it appears that yours has either acquired a heavy dark patina, or someone has blued it to make it look pretty. If the latter, too bad, as it hurts the value quite a bit. There is some collector interest in these, but not a lot, and the values tend to be in the $500-900 range depending on condition, and this is probably not at the upper end. Hope this helps. John Spangler


# 4200 - Argentina Mauser
8/8/01
Brian , New Mexico

Mauser - Argentino - 30-06 - 23 1/2 - Blue - A 7518 -

Military Armory stamp on stalk of rifle, the numbers B 4335 burnt on the right side. Sliding sights from 3 to 20 Wondering if it is worth anything or collectors item approximate value. just wondering what I've got!

Answer:
Brian- Usually the Argentine Mausers will say which model, on the left side of the receiver. The most common are Model 1891 and 1909. Barrel lengths vary with infantry, artillery and cavalry models. Yours sounds like one of the shorter versions. I am a bit skeptical about it being in .30-06 caliber, as these were all made in 7.65 Mauser caliber. Some have recently been rechambered for 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester, a practice I find akin to improving the Mona Lisa with a felt tip moustache. The 1909 Mauser actions are highly regarded by custom rifle builders (and they throw away the stock and barrel anyway) and they could use your rifle, regardless of the caliber. Actions probably would bring about $100-150 each, while a complete rifle, matching numbers and lots of finish would be morel like $300-400. John Spangler


# 4210 - Winchester 1906
8/8/01
Connie E.

Winchester - Pump, Short Or Long - Mod. 06 - 22 - 610929 -

manuf. by Winchester Repeating Arms Co. --New Haven, Conn. pat. June 26, 1889 History and value of this gun.

Answer:
Connie, Winchester manufactured the Model 1906 form 1906 to 1932, total production reached approximately 848,000 rifles. The OldGuns.net dates of manufacture program (located at http://oldguns.net/snpgm/winmods.htm) tells me that your rifle was manufactured in 1924. Values for Winchester Model 1906 rifles range from $150 to $675 depending upon condition and configuration. We have answered several questions about this rifle in the past, for more information try a query to the OldGuns.net Q&A search engine, there is a link on the near the top of the left hand menu frame. Search for "Winchester 1906" as a phrase. Marc


# 4060 - Crescent Firearms Company Revolver
8/4/01
Bill Winnipeg Mb. Canada

L Folsom - Crescent Firearms Co. Conn. - 22 Cal - Blue - 452 barrel 459 receiver -

New York club pat Apr 14 1891 Just information on when it was manufactured and its approx. value if any

Answer:
Bill, there is not a lot of information on this company. Crescent Fire Arms was a manufacturer of shotguns and handguns established in Norwich, Connecticut in 1892. Crescent was purchased by H&D Folsom in 1893, and Folsom was absorbed by J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company in 1926. Crescent is best known as a manufacturer of private labeled (house brand) firearms for retailers, distributors and mail-order houses. There are over 100 different trademarks that are known to have been manufactured by Crescent almost all of which have little collector value. Marc


# 4204 - Oviedo Spanish Mauser
8/4/01
Patrick; Salt Lake City, Utah

Mauser - ? - 7 By 57 - 21"? - Blue - G1045 -

fabrica de armas, oviedo, year 1922, crown stamp w/ fabrica. . . curved around the bottom of it. rear ramp sight, frone blade. I just want to get some info about this particular rifle. I have looked everywhere for info, and according to the internet, it doesn't exist.

Answer:
Patrick- "According to the internet" I might be a blonde babe with an IQ of 195 and better looking than most movie stars, but don't believe everything you find on the internet. (Except here, of course!). I keep saying the Utah public schools are going down hill as the teachers union wonders off into politically correct nonsense (and anti-gun projects). Apparently they omitted the lesson on internet search methods with your class. However, just use the search engine near the top of our menu frame on the left hand side. Punch in Oviedo and you should find where we have answered questions on these several times in the past. Short version- made in Spain and not very good quality in my opinion, but we invite you to check for full details. John Spangler


# 4202 - History Of A Particular M1911A1
8/4/01
Jeff

Colt - 1911A1 -

I have a Government Issue 1911A1. By entering the serial number (841531) in the search engine on your site I know it was manufactured by Colt for the Army in 1942. But I am wondering if you know of any way to research the specific history of a particular pistol. When I was in the Army I recall them keeping pretty meticulous records of all weapons, so it seems like the information should be out there someplace. I would be real interested to know where my M1911A1 was carried over the years, and how it ended up in the pawn shop where I found it. Please let me know if you are aware of any available sources for information about specific pistols.

Answer:
Jeff- Unfortunately, military records on small arms are mainly temporary custody items and destroyed pretty soon after the item is turned back in. Over 20 years diligent research in the National Archives and other repositories of military records by Frank Mallory has turned up about everything that can be cited as official documentation on small arms serial numbers from the Civil War through the present. There is no information on your pistol, nor enough on nearby numbers to form any good pattern. Many pistols were sold as surplus through the DCM program in the 1960s, and others through regular surplus channels. A few were smuggled home during WW2, Korea or Vietnam. Your guess is as good as ours. John Spangler


# 4065 - Black Widow Lugers
8/1/01

Why are some lugers called BLACK WIDOWS PLEASE?

Answer:
Research tells me that the term "Black Widow" as it applies to Lugers is not of German origin. The term seems to have been coined by an American to make a particular type of Luger seem more infamous or romantic and hence to raise demand and value. Black Widow is not listed in the index of any of my Luger reference or gun value books this is most likely because many Luger collectors do not recognize Black Widow to be a legitimate model designation.

It is generally accepted that Black Widow refers to 9MM Lugers with 4 inch barrels manufactured by Mauser during WWII that had byf markings and 41 or 42 chamber dates. The important aspect of Black Widow Lugers that sets them apart is they were issued with black plastic grips and "fxo" marked magazines with black plastic un-numbered bases. Even though Luger collectors do not like the term Black Widow, it seems to have been a successful sales gimmick. My experience has been that these Lugers usually sell for a premium even though they are one of the most frequently encountered WWII military Lugers. Marc


# 4213 - Springfield 1903 Low Number
8/1/01

Springfield - 1903 -

I got a $64,000 question. I recently purchased a 1903 Springfield, S/N 686xxx. I have heard all about the low number receiver problems. I noticed on the muzzle top end of the barrel that the gun had been rebarrelled by High Standard on 2-44 and has the flaming bomb cartouche. Since the problem with the brittle receivers have been known for years and even prior to when this gun was rebarrelled, what is the chance that the receiver was re-heat treated? It would have been very stupid on someone's part to go that far with the gun without correcting the receiver heat treat problem. In addition, why rebarrell the gun that late in WWII? In addition, the barrel appears to be muzzle free-bored about 1 1/2 inches. Why would that have been done? Also, the receiver has a circle with two dashes in it and a large 5 stamped on the receiver ring top along with the common identification marks. What does these marks mean? And last, at the muzzle end of the barrel, there is stamped - cal st.a vt Do you have any idea what this means? Thanks for all your help.

Answer:
Gary- As always, the Oldguns.net detectives have an answer or at least an opinion on just about anything. You raise some very interesting questions and provide some good clues. First, the markings: CAI, ST. A. VT is an import marking required by federal law on guns imported into the U.S. after 1968. It indicates that the rifle was imported by Century Arms International of St. Albans, Vermont, one of the major arms importers of the 1970s-90s. The circle with two dashes sounds Oriental to me, quite possibly Chinese. Century imported a large number of M1903 rifles from China in the 1980s, and many of those were freebored at the muzzle as you describe. (While undesirable for a collector gun, this alteration reportedly helped accuracy a lot as it eliminated the often badly worn rifling near the muzzle, usually caused by excessive or careless cleaning.) Most of these rifles were rather tired and apparently were among the huge numbers given to our Chinese allies during WW2. They were also given large supplies of spare parts and likely obtained more after WW2, but before Mao Tse Tung and his Communist hordes seized power in China. Therefore the 1944 dated barrel may have been installed before the rifle was given to the Chinese, or at some later date, but since it is freebored and import marked, it was done quite a while ago. The subject of safety of low number receivers is widely discussed with many more opinions than facts presented. We have a thorough analysis of the documented facts available at our brand new site http://m1903.com/03rcvrfail. Bottom line is that while the Army pulled their low numbered rifles from service, they were NOT withdrawn from National Guard or Marine Corps inventories, and the Army resumed issue during WW2, although perhaps more as a matter of turning them over for use by our allies than for actual issue to U.S. Army units. There is absolutely no known method for reliably "re-heat treating" the low numbered receivers, despite some claims to the contrary. Do people still shot the low numbered guns? Sure, including me, and I think I am in more danger of harm from frozen chunks of airliner poop falling out of the sky while driving to the range than from shooting a low number Springfield. Are they really unsafe to shoot? Some lawyers will insist they are unsafe, and will be happy to sue someone over it, even though they are not smart enough to design, manufacture or sell anything themselves, only extort money from others. You should have any gun checked by a competent gunsmith prior to firing it, and decide how much risk you are happy with. Hey, you guys elected Bill & Hillary Clinton to run your state, propelling them to the White House, and I cannot think of anything more dangerous than that. John Spangler


# 4220 - Springfield Trapdoor Markings
8/1/01

Springfield - Trapdoor - 92147 -

Greetings. I'm looking forward to the information you can provide regarding the rifle I just acquired. I purchased this rifle in Tombstone, while on vacation in Southern AZ. It is a U.S. Springfield, Trapdoor Rifle, caliber .45-70. The barrel measures approximately 32-1/2" (measured from the barrel side of the breechblock hinge to the muzzle). The rifle has a blued finish. The serial number is 92147. On the lock plate side of the stock, near the but plate, and parallel with the butt plate, is stamped the following:

B
C 6
G


The numeral (either a 6 or a 9 - looks more like a 6) is about 1/2: tall, while the letters are approximately 3/8" tall. On the top of the stock, just behind the screw that holds the breech to the stock is stamped the numeral 30. Also on the top of the stock just forward of the butt plate screw are the following (all in a row):

9
9
E


The first numeral is about 1/2" tall. The second numeral is about 3/8" tall and the 'E" is about 1/2" tall. The numerals in this case would most likely be 9's. With the muzzle pointing down range and looking directly at the top of the stock, the stampings read as indicated above. Stamped into the butt plate, just to the rear of the butt plate screw is stamped the numeral 9. It is about 1/4" tall.

On the top of the barrel and nearest the breech is stamped

V
P
X (the X represents an unknown symbol. looks like a bell).
p

The letter U is stamped on both barrel bands on the lock plate side.

The Trapdoor is stamped

Model
1873
X (unknown symbol, but looks like crossed arrows beneath a bell?)
US

On the bottom of the stock, just to the rear of the rear trigger guard plate screw is a circle with a script letter P inside. Thank you.

Answer:
Thomas- The VP/eagle head on the barrel and the markings on the block (another eagle head) and circle p behind the trigger guard are all standard markings applied when this rifle was made at Springfield Armory about 1877-78. There was also an inspector's "cartouche" applied to the left side of the stock near the rear lock screw, probably an oval with initials ESA in script over a date (1877 or 1878). These were often removed during later cleaning.

The various alphanumeric combinations are unit or "rack" numbers of unknown age or origin. Officially, arms were NOT supposed to be marked, and this was generally obeyed by regular troops, but arms in the hands of National Guard units were often marked. The most common pattern was number of the regiment/letter of company within the regiment/number of soldier within the company. However, virtually any combination could be used to suit local needs or whims. This is further confused by the tendency for non-military markings to be added after guns were disposed of as surplus-veterans groups, movie studios, railroads, etc are all known to have used various markings.

The Springfield Research Service has been looking for serial numbers of military arms in the national archives for over 20 years. .45-70 rifle serial number 92147 is among a number listed as a donation to the U.S. Navy on March 31, 1943, many of them with serial numbers that are grouped together. My assumption is that they came from a single source, perhaps National Guard inventories, or veterans group, or a large surplus dealer. During WW2, the trapdoor was no longer considered to be a combat weapon. Some were issued for use by quasi-military beach patrols, and some were cut down and converted to be used as "line throwing guns" used for underway replenishment or other nautical tasks. There are no records of your rifle's history before or after that point, nor any likely explanation of how it ended up in Arizona.

Springfield Research Service can provide you a letter stating the source for the U.S. Navy donation information, and their fee is something like $50. Contact frank@mbz.org if you would like to do this, and confirm the current cost for such a letter.

Coincidentally, there are sa few rifles in the 91,000 and 92,000 range that are documented as having been used by Indian Scouts in Fort Bowie, AZ, circa 1881. Hope this helps. John Spangle


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